Today’s Reading: “I believe in God, The Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord. Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary. Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day, He rose again. He ascended into heaven. He is seated at the right hand of the Father, and He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit. The holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body.”
Here’s the God-honest truth.
This world and everything in it matters deeply to its Creator.
No, wait. That’s too mild. Let me say it this way.
Everything around us. Everything inside us. Everything and everyone in all creation; from the beginning of time to the very end; matters to God.
For God, the Creator, there are no throw-aways. No second bests. No winners and losers. No mistakes. No defects. The cosmos and all that it contains belongs to God and He’s not planning on tossing out anything or anyone after His Son returns.
Oh yes, without a doubt, much of this present world we live in, ourselves included, is fractured at best. We’re a broken, dysfunctional people living in a broken, dysfunctional world.
That’s the bad news. But now, let’s recall the good that’s found in God’s Book.
You see, God’s not finished yet! His redemption plan for His creation is well underway, but only He knows what the finished project will actually look like. And guess what? He’s not revealing to us either His time frame nor His complete plan that will reconcile His entire creation back into His loving hands.
So, some of you might be asking… “But, Marty, what about those awful sinners who will be thrown into the Lake of Fire? What about them?”
To that query, I say, “Wait. Let’s take another look in the Book.”
Back in Session 12, we discussed how the New Testament talks about the Lake of Fire (gehenna, meaning “place of final punishment or torment”), but please notice…prior to the final judgments of God (Revelation 20: 14-15), only Death and Hell are listed as being thrown into the Lake of Fire. As I see it, only objects completely foreign to God’s original creation, hideous things like evil, deception, hatred, death, hell, and damnation will find a second death in those days. Everyone and everything else in the cosmos will be brought out of waiting (hades, meaning a place where spirit and body are separated at death), resurrected into the fullness of life, reunited in body and spirit so that God’s Truth might be made evident to one and all.
And it’s then, as we’re all are standing before our Creator/King, flesh and spirit united as one when He will reveal Himself as He truly is. And as the Scriptures indicate, each one of us will bow our knee and our tongue will confess that God is God, Christ is Christ, and that Spirit is Spirit. It’s there as well, when we will embrace our Real Self, the Truest Essence God has made us to be. You see, our bodies will be resurrected, just as The Creed states. These old worn-out containers made of flesh and blood will be resurrected and reconciled back into the fullness of all they were meant to be so long ago in the Garden.
And as we stand before our God in our resurrected bodies, eyes wide open, with nothing to fear and nothing to hide, we will hear our God speak to us face to face. No need for interrupters, no need for holy people to tell us the truth. We will be standing in front of Truth, itself. No fear. No deceptions or lies. No excuses. No ifs, ands, or buts. Just Pure, Unadulterated Love.
Now, what happens after this amazing resurrection event, we’ll talk about next time as we come to the final words of The Creed. But for now, please know that there is a new life coming to all of us in the very near future! These bodies we so very often complain about are going to be resurrected and restored back into the original package God meant them to be. Our soul and flesh will be reunited. And this fallen world we live in will be resurrected as well, giving it a breath of fresh air like it’s never seen before!
Oh, and those folks you can’t stand because they are a different color or nationality? You better watch your tongue, because they are made by the same finger of God that made you. Oh yes, evil exists. And it must be rejected. But keep in mind that evil is not your brother or sister, nor is it that next-door neighbor who speaks poorly of you or gets mad when you step on his flower garden.
Evil is evil. Hatred is hatred.
But human beings are made in the image of God, and so is this entire planet.
And since we will all be resurrected someday by the hand of our Creator, we might as well begin now respecting and loving one another for the greater glory of God.
My prayer: Father God, first of all, I want to confess that I’m much too complacent when it comes to caring for Your creation. Whether it’s failing to properly care for my body, being disrespectful of others around me, or trashing the world because I’m convinced that it’s all gonna burn up one day, I’m not paying attention to the fact that all of these things have great value in Your sight. If I truly believe in the resurrection of the body, then I must do a much better job in respecting Your creation today. For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: How might I live in greater respect for all of God’s creation? Are there practical ways I can better appreciate both my physical well-being and the well-being of others around me? Am I living as though none of these things matter to God? And if so, what needs to change so that my actions better reflect my belief in the resurrection of all things?
So, what are you experiencing today as we are Contemplating The Creed?
Over a seven-week period, you and I will take a deeper look at The Apostles Creed. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Contemplating the Creed home page for ease of use.
If you like what you’re reading, might we suggest you share this page with others!